Woman, 2 men die in I-70 wreck | VailDaily.com

Woman, 2 men die in I-70 wreck

Steve Lynn and Tamara Miller
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyEmergency service personal work at removing passengers from a van after it collided with a semi-truck Monday on Interstate 70 near Eagle. Three people died and seven were injured.

EAGLE ” Three people were killed and seven were injured in a crash on Interstate 70 near the Eagle exit.

The accident, which involved a van and a semi-truck, occured just after noon and snarled traffic near Eagle for a few hours.

Ten passengers were in the van and they may have been illegal immigrants, the Colorado State Patrol said.

The driver of the semi-truck was not injured, said Christopher Montera, district manager of the Western Eagle County Ambulance District.

A woman, maybe a teenager, and two men, maybe in their 20s, died from head injuries and others, said Kara Bettis, Eagle County coroner.

They were all riding in the van, Montera said.

Authorities have not released the names of those involved in the accident.

The Vail Valley Medical Center treated seven people who were injured in the crash. Two were released and two were taken by helicopter to Denver Health and Medical Center, where they were in serious condition, authorities said.

The remaining three were being treated, said Jonathan Hoehn, spokesman for the Vail Valley Medical Center.

The semi truck may have rear-ended the van, which went into the median, said Capt. Richard Duran of the Colorado State Patrol. The truck went off the right side of Interstate 70, through a fence and into a field, he said.

The accident prompted authorities to close both of I-70’s east lanes and one west lane for several hours. State Patrol re-opened one of the east lanes Monday afternoon.

Several travelers were stuck on I-70 and in Eagle following the accident.

“We’ve been here almost an hour and a half, and nothing’s moving,” said Christine Thurston, who left City Market after noon and rode out the traffic jam at Zach’s Deli across the street.

“There’s a truck that was about three cars behind us when we pulled in here, and it’s moved about three car lengths in an hour and a half.”

Pete Larkin was heading east on I-70 when traffic began to back up. He said traffic was backed up for at least two miles. He took to the shoulder of the interstate to pass the line of cars.

Heidi Wicks of Boulder said she waited for 45 minutes until she reached the Eagle exit.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.

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